Can You Paint Laminate Stair Risers?

Can You Paint Laminate Stair Risers?

Learn how to transform your staircase by painting laminate stair risers with this step-by-step guide. Discover the right preparation and paint for laminate.

Learn how to transform your staircase by painting laminate stair risers with this step-by-step guide. Discover the right preparation and paint for laminate surfaces, and find out how to paint vinyl stair treads and protect carpet stair treads for a stunning staircase makeover.

Can you paint laminate stair risers? YES YOU CAN!

Understanding Laminate Stair Risers   

When it comes to staircase makeovers, one often overlooked element is the stair risers. These vertical boards that connect the stair treads are typically made of various materials, including laminate. Laminate stair risers are a popular choice due to their durability and easy maintenance. However, if you're looking to give your staircase a fresh new look, you might be wondering, "Can you paint laminate stair risers?"

What are laminate stair risers?   

Laminate stair risers are essentially a type of staircase component made from a composite material that is designed to mimic the look of wood or other natural materials. They are known for their resistance to scratches, moisture, and general wear and tear, making them a practical choice for high-traffic areas like staircases.

Benefits of painting laminate stair risers   

Painting laminate stair risers can completely transform the look of your staircase. Whether you want to match them to your existing decor or add a pop of color, painting laminate stair risers allows for endless design possibilities. Additionally, it's a cost-effective way to update your stairs without having to replace the entire staircase.

Preparing Laminate Stair Risers for Painting   

Before diving into the painting process, proper preparation is key to achieving a professional and long-lasting finish.

Cleaning the surface   

Start by thoroughly cleaning the laminate stair risers with a mild detergent and water solution. This will remove any dirt, grease, or other residues that could affect the adhesion of the paint.

Sanding the laminate   

To ensure the paint adheres properly, lightly sand the surface of the laminate with fine-grit sandpaper. This will create a slightly rough texture for the paint to grip onto. You just want to make sure you don't sand too much of the laminate, or you will expose the sub floor layer.

Applying primer   

Once the surface is clean and sanded, apply a high-quality bonding primer specifically designed for laminate surfaces. This will further enhance the adhesion of the paint and provide a smooth base for the topcoat.

Choosing the Right Paint for Laminate Surfaces   

Not all paints are suitable for laminate surfaces, so it's essential to select the right type of paint for this project.

Types of paint suitable for laminate   

For painting laminate stair risers, it's best to use a high-quality acrylic latex paint. This type of paint is durable, easy to clean, and provides a long-lasting finish. Additionally, look for paints that are formulated for use on non-porous surfaces, as this is crucial for laminate materials.

Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Laminate Stair Risers   

Now that the preparation is complete, it's time to start painting your laminate stair risers.

Gathering the necessary tools and materials   

Before you begin, make sure you have all the essential tools and materials on hand, including paint, primer, brushes, painter's tape, drop cloths, and a battery-operated caulking gun for a professional finish.

Applying the first coat of paint   

Using a high-quality brush or roller, apply the first coat of paint to the prepared laminate stair risers. Be sure to work in even strokes and cover the entire surface evenly.

Allowing for drying time   

Allow the first coat of paint to dry completely according to the manufacturer's instructions. This typically takes a few hours, but it's essential to ensure the paint is fully cured before applying additional coats.

Applying additional coats as needed   

Depending on the coverage and the desired color intensity, you may need to apply one or two additional coats of paint. Be sure to allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.

Tips for a Professional Finish   

To achieve a smooth and professional finish when painting laminate stair risers, consider the following tips:

Techniques for achieving a smooth finish   

  • Use long, even strokes when applying the paint to minimize brush marks.

  • Consider using a small foam roller for a smooth and uniform finish.

  • Work in a well-ventilated area to ensure proper drying and curing of the paint.

Avoiding common painting mistakes   

  • Be mindful of drips and runs, and promptly smooth them out with a brush or roller.

  • Remove painter's tape carefully to avoid peeling off the fresh paint.

  • Take your time and work patiently to achieve a flawless finish.

Other Staircase Makeover Options   

In addition to painting laminate stair risers, there are other staircase makeover options to consider.

Painting vinyl stair treads   

Many people wonder, "can you paint vinyl stair treads?" If your staircase features vinyl stair treads, they can also be painted to match the newly painted risers. Follow a similar preparation and painting process as you would for laminate surfaces.


Transforming your staircase by painting laminate stair risers is a rewarding DIY project that can instantly elevate the look of your home. With the right preparation, paint, and techniques, you can achieve a stunning and durable finish that will stand the test of time. If you're unsure about any step of the process, don't hesitate to access expert advice from professionals or online resources. Good luck with your staircase makeover!